Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • 5 Ways to Make the Most of Unemployment. Tom Nelson writes “When we find ourselves unemployed, how do we make the most of it? Trusting God and his promises, we can take positive steps in moving forward.”
  • How to Faithfully Work from Home in a Season of Teleworking. Russell Gehrlein addresses some of the unique challenges he has faced since having been forced to telework on short notice due to social distancing as a result of the pandemic. Then, he focuses his thoughts on how his Christian faith is impacted by this new environment.
  • Leading in Times of Disruption. Uncertainty and disruption are why the world needs leaders. In this month’s episode of the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, Andy and Lane Jones discuss how to lead in uncertain times.
  • Thank God It’s Monday. John Stonestreet writes “To be Christian is to be called to God’s redeeming work in the world. And anyone who is in Christ can and should seek to glorify God wherever they are—even on a Monday.”
  • Business for the Common Good On-Demand. The Denver Institute recently launched Business for the Common Good On-Demand, a resource they are giving away for The videos and discussion guides address questions like: How do you determine if a business is successful? Is it reflected in a positive balance sheet, gleaming customer reviews, or a charismatic CEO? What if God measured success by a broader standard—by the way businesses help every employee, supplier, consumer, or community they touch to thrive?
  • How to Thrive in Work. Paul Tripp shares six gospel principles that will allow you to thrive spiritually in your place of employment.

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of Hand Me Another Brick: How Effective Leaders Motivate Themselves and Others by Charles Swindoll
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Now’s the Time for Rest. Dan Doriani writes “If we hope to endure without a burden of guilt or bad temper, we should rest. We need this God-given rhythm.”
  • Too Many Christian Workaholics. Paul Tripp writes “When you look to work for your identity, you will find it very hard to resist its challenges, demands, and promises of reward.”
  • What COVID-19 Lays Bare: Implications for Women’s Work. Joanna Meyer shares 4 Ways COVID-19 will change how we think about women’s work.
  • COVID-19 Reminds Us of the Humanizing Aspect of Work. Anthony Bradley writes “We need to be reminded why work matters for persons and their communities beyond its capacity to help people meet their personal financial obligations and businesses to remain open.”
  • 3 Essentials to Remember as You Go Back to Work. John Pletcher writes “Remember that work is our Father’s gracious gift. Remember our divine purpose, to serve others for his glory. And remember to “call it a day.” He did.”
  • Mission at Work. Enjoy this sermon series from Bryan Chapell, in which he deals with many workplace realities and challenges us to examine how the Bible applies to each, and to show that it is not only possible to live for Christ at work, but it is also every Christian’s mission.
  • The Theology of Work on Display During our Darkest Days. Russell Gehrlein writes “In the midst of this awful pandemic, it has been an extraordinary time to clearly see some of the basic tenets of the theology of work on display for all to see.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of “Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life” by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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Servant Leadership: Leading Like Jesus, Part 3

In the first part of our three-part series, we looked at my takeaways from the book Lead Like Jesus: Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges. In part two, we looked at my takeaways from a few other books on servant leadership that I would commend to you, and in this third part, I’ll look at my takeaways from a few more books. Continue reading


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Servant Leadership: Leading Like Jesus, Part 2

In the first part of our series, we looked at my servant leadership takeaways from the book Lead Like Jesus: Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges. Now I want to look at my takeaways from three books on servant leadership that I would commend to you. Continue reading


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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Help! I’m Irritated with My Work-From-Home Husband. Amy Dimarcangelo answers a question from a wife who is feeling envy over how meaningful and interesting her now working from home husband’s work is compared to hers.
  • Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good. Amy Sherman writes “Churches need to do better at teaching their members about ‘vocational stewardship’ – seeing their jobs also as God’s provision, and deploying their talents through their work in ways that express love of neighbor.”
  • Reflections on the Pandemic’s Impact on Work. Our friend Russell Gehrlein reflects on some of the challenges that we face together in our work situations in response to this pandemic, reminds us of the kinds of valuable coworkers God provides to meet our human needs, and offers some hope grounded in a biblical perspective.
  • Resources for Work Disruption Related to COVID-19. The Global Faith & Work Initiative provides these helpful resources for those whose work has been disrupted due to the global pandemic.
  • Faith in a Time of High Anxiety. Hugh Whelchel writes “We believe that we are in control, the masters of our own destiny. Then, an event like this comes along, and as a society, we must confess we have no control over our current circumstances. At best, we can only control our reactions to the situation in which we find ourselves.”

Click on ‘Continue reading’ for:

  • More links to interesting articles
  • The Top 10 Faith and Work Quotes of the Week
  • My Review of “Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success” by John Maxwell
  • Snippets from Os Guinness’ book “The Call: Finding and Fulfilling God’s Purpose For Your Life”

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The Most Difficult Conversation I Ever Had at Work

As a leader, I had to have many difficult conversations in my career. But as I reflect back, there was one conversation that took place several years ago that stood out above the rest as the most difficult.

In the organization I worked at, we would regularly have conversations about analysts who had the potential and interest to move into a leadership position. If everyone agreed, these analysts would be placed on a “promotability list”. This list would have multiple levels.  Being placed in the top category indicated that they were ready to take on a leadership position.
One of my team members was in that top category when our leadership team had their regular conversation about our area’s candidates. At that time, there was very little movement of analysts into leadership. As a result, there was new criteria applied to those on the list. As a result, my team member was not approved to stay on the list. They were not going to be moved back a level on the list, but taken off the list completely, which was very unusual. As their leader, I would have to communicate this news to them. But I was going to be out of the office on a previously scheduled vacation before our meeting. Needless to say, I thought about our meeting a lot during my vacation. Continue reading


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How to Become a Leader Others Will Want to Follow

When I worked with team members and mentees who were emerging leaders, I would tell them that I wanted them to be leaders that others would want to follow. Now, in my organization, and perhaps in yours, neither leaders nor team members often got to pick who they work with. But I wanted those emerging leaders to be the type of leaders that people would want to work for if they had the chance. I was always overjoyed when I got to work with an individual more than once, and I was blessed to work with a few people three and four different times.
When I talk about a leader worth following, what I am describing is level 2, or “Permission” in John Maxwell’s “Five Levels of Leadership”. A description of the level 2 is:
“Level 2 is based on relationship. At this level, people choose to follow because they want to. In other words, they give the leader Permission to lead them. To grow at this level, leaders work on getting to know their people and connecting with them. Level 2 is where solid, lasting relationships are built that create the foundation for the next level”.
Why is it important to be a leader who others want to follow? Marcus Buckingham has said that “People don’t leave bad companies, they leave bad managers”. Maxwell says that “People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision”. Continue reading


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Every Leader Has an Impact on Their Team: Will Yours Be Positive or Negative?


Unfortunately, I continue to hear from way too many people about the negative impact their leaders have on them. Recently, a friend told me about their leader, who had told him over and over during the past year that he had “saved her”. He is an “A player” on the team, but at the time of his performance review, the leader’s actions didn’t match their words. That same leader hadn’t held the required “One on One” monthly meeting with that team member for 18 months, and the leader is also poor at resolving conflict on the team. No wonder that employee is now looking to move to a different leader.
Another person told me that they were concerned about the leader they were assigned to because their position was not deeply technical, and the word was that this leader only valued technical skills. When I checked with them recently about how things were going, they responded that the team hadn’t really seen much of the leader lately. They just figured that the leader was working on their own development and didn’t have time for the team.
Leaders will always have an impact on their team members, either a positive one, or a negative one. A good leader of course wants that impact to be a positive one. A bad leader will often cause a team member to become so dissatisfied that they will leave the team, and perhaps even the entire organization. Continue reading


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Are You a Leader or a Manager? 


Are you a leader or a manager? Is there a difference between the two? Some people are leaders, but have the title of manager. Many, if not most people, use the words leader and manager interchangeably, but there is a vast difference between the two. So, what are some of those differences? Here are four differences between managers and leaders that I would like to share with you:

  • Managers – whether they be in business, the church or a non-profit organization – maintain the status quo. Just as leaders are needed to move organizations forward, managers are needed for those areas of an organization that are not considered strategic, but still need to be maintained. In some of my assignments in an IT department in a large Fortune 50 organization, I worked with roles that were not considered strategic, but were certainly needed to “keep the wheels on”. Also, some of the responsibilities that I had (making sure everyone on my team accurately recorded their time each week, for example) certainly fell into the managing, rather than leading category. It is the same with a church. In some churches, “managers” (pastors, church leaders, etc.), just maintain what is in place, not working to move their churches forward to impact their communities in a greater way for the Gospel.
  • Leaders cast a compelling vision of a better future. While managers maintain systems and programs that are in place in their organizations, leaders look to a better future, moving their organizations forward. Leaders have vision and they cast compelling visions of a better future for their organizations. This means change, but it is change for the better, not change for the sake of change. Change for the better improves organizations. Change for the sake of change disrupts organizations.
  • Leaders influence followers to buy into their vision of the future. John Maxwell often says that “Leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less”. In other words, if you are not able to influence people to follow your you and your vision, you are not leading. Maxwell has said that people buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. As a result, leaders need to be people of character and competence.
  • Leaders inspire trust. Stephen M.R. Covey has said “The first job of any leader is to inspire trust. Trust is confidence born of two dimensions: character and competence. Character includes your integrity, motive, and intent with people. Competence includes your capabilities, skills, results, and track record. Both dimensions are vital.” It is not that people don’t need managers, but here I want to focus on the word “inspire”. Leaders inspire.

Your particular situation may find you doing more managing than leading. However, I contend that no matter what type of leadership or management position you are in, you can have the vision to improve your organization. And if your vision is compelling enough and you communicate it clearly, people will follow you, and you will be a leader.

There are many other differences between leaders and managers. What thoughts do you have about the difference between the two?


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Servant Leadership: Leading Like Jesus, Part 1

I’m a huge proponent of servant leadership. It’s the way I try to lead, and I believe it is the best leadership model. I’ve read many good books on the topic, with the first, and best, being Lead Like Jesus: Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges. In this two-part series on servant leadership, I’ll first look at takeaways from that book, and in part two, I’ll look at what I’ve earned from a few other books on the subject.

    • The world is in desperate need of a different leadership role model. Many leaders act as if the sheep are there only for the benefit of the shepherd. The good news is that there is a better way. There is one perfect leadership role model you can trust, and His name is Jesus.
    • Self-promotion (pride) and self-protection (fear) are the reigning motivations that dominate the leadership landscape today. But Jesus is clear about how He wants us to lead: He asks us to make a difference in our world by being effective servant leaders. For followers of Jesus, servant leadership isn’t an option; it’s a mandate.

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